Just when I think I know every London market, I discover a new one. This city has an endless variety of them, from farmers’ markets to vintage markets, and there are more popping up all the time. I recently discovered the South Kensington Tuesday Farmers’ Market at Imperial College, a great little food market with plenty of green space for picnics. Being there inspired me to write about my favorite markets in the city, and today I bring you A Lady in London’s guide to the 14 best London markets.
Best Food Markets in London
Maltby Street Market
One of my favorite markets in London is the Maltby Street Market in Bermondsey. Its tunnels and alleys are full of great produce and prepared foods, and exploring all the little pockets of the market feels like being on a treasure hunt.
Over by London Fields, Broadway Market has an amazing variety of food on offer, from Vietnamese coffee to fresh falafel. Its location by the park means it’s the perfect place to spend a lazy Saturday eating and picnicking on the grass.
London’s foodie heavyweight, Borough Market has been a stalwart on the market scene for ages. It has an amazing variety of stalls and restaurants, and is a fun place to shop and graze in spite of the ever-growing crowds.
Duke of York Square Food Market
Over in Chelsea, the Duke of York Square food market is one of my favorite places to spend a Saturday morning in London. The square has vendors offering everything from duck confit sandwiches to oysters and champagne. It’s the perfect place to find sustenance before a visit to the neighboring Saatchi Gallery or a shopping expedition on King’s Road.
Billingsgate Fish Market
Way out in Canary Wharf, the Billingsgate Fish Market is worth a special trip. The best way to take advantage of it is to wake up early to get the best seafood in London. The place is huge, and there’s an overwhelming variety to choose from!
South Kensington Tuesday Farmers’ Market at Imperial
The aforementioned South Kensington Tuesday Farmers’ Market at Imperial College is a great place to spend a lunch break on a sunny weekday. The adjacent Queen’s Lawn is an ideal spot to enjoy a picnic with one of the market’s famous burgers or a cheeky slice of cake. Or both.
Best Antiques Markets in London
Notting Hill’s Portobello Market needs no introduction. One of the most famous markets in London, it’s a great place to browse through antique jewelry, vintage posters, and quirky knick-knacks. There are lots of great cafes and bakeries along the way that are perfect for a tea break, too.
Camden Passage Market
Up in Angel, the pedestrianized Camden Passage Market has every kind of antique imaginable. From stalls selling necklaces and spoons to shops full of vintage furniture, there’s something for every antique lover here.
Best Flower Markets in London
Columbia Road Flower Market
One of London’s best Sunday markets, the Columbia Road Flower Market is also one of its most colorful. It’s a great place to pick up potted plants and cut flowers, and when the heaving crowds get overwhelming, there are little corners with shops, pubs, and cafes to duck into.
New Covent Garden Flower Market
While the New Covent Garden Flower Market in Vauxhall doesn’t encourage non-trade visitors, it’s still a great place for serious floral enthusiasts to visit. Its cavernous warehouse offers everything from bright blue roses to vases and ribbons.
Best Eclectic Markets in London
Brick Lane Markets
Brick Lane in Spitalfields has so many weekend markets it’s hard to keep track of them all. From vintage clothing to global food, it’s worth setting aside an entire day for browsing. Down the road, Spitalfields Market also has a great rotating mix of stalls throughout the week.
Chatsworth Road Market
Up in Hackney, Chatsworth Road Market is one that I recently discovered and had a great time exploring. Part food market, part arts and crafts market, it has a good variety of vendors and great shops and restaurants up and down the street.
Brixton Market and the adjoining Brixton Village are great places to explore on a weekend. The markets have an eclectic mix of everything from fresh food to handmade goods, and the neighborhood’s ethnic and cultural diversity shines through in many of the stalls and shops.
Another place with an abundance of markets is Camden. The area around the Camden Town tube station buzzes with the many markets crammed into the neighborhood’s squares, tunnels, and courtyards. From foodie stalls to goth ones, there’s something for every taste and style here.
How about you? What’s your favorite London market?